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Aspidistra Ker-Gawl.


Description from Flora of China

Antherolophus Gagnepain; Colania Gagnepain; Evrardiella Gagnepain; Macrogyne Link & Otto; Plectogyne Link.

Herbs perennial, rhizomatous. Rhizome creeping, elongate; nodes dense. Leaves solitary or 2--4-tufted, basal, erect, long petiolate; leaf blade many veined. Scape usually very short, with 2--8 scales, 1(or 2)-flowered. Flowers bisexual, terminal, generally embraced by 1 or 2 bracts at perianth base. Perianth campanulate, urceolate, or cupular, fleshy, apically (4--)6--8(--10)-lobed. Stamens as many as and opposite perianth lobes, usually inserted in proximal part of perianth tube; filaments very short or absent; anthers dorsifixed. Ovary 3- or 4-loculed; ovules several per locule. Style short, sometimes articulate; stigma usually peltate or mushroom-shaped, large, entire or lobed at margin. Fruit a berry, globose to ovoid-ellipsoid, usually 1-seeded.

Aspidistra has never been well studied so, for the convenience of later criticisms, we use the narrowest species concept in this treatment. Accordingly, the key to the species may not function completely in some cases. Further studies are needed in order to understand the precise species variation and to establish an adequate species concept in the genus.

About 55 species: China, India, Japan, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam; 49 species (46 endemic, one introduced) in China.

(Authors: Liang Songyun (梁松筠 Liang Song-jun); Minoru N. Tamura)

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